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HomeClassic Car InvestFerrari: upgrade is rather ‘organic’, not a game-changer

Ferrari: upgrade is rather ‘organic’, not a game-changer

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Ferrari’s senior performance engineer Jock Clear claims that the upgrade package the Scuderia introduced in last weekend’s Imola round is not a game-changing development step, but rather an ‘organic’ improvement.

Ferrari have hardly brought any upgrades for the opening six races of the season, but turned up with a comprehensive suit of upgrades at its first of two home races in Imola.

Central to the package was a change to the sidepod inlets. The new P-shape opening now features a top lip instead of a lower lip with the Scuderia switching from the underbite concept to the overbite assembly. The new bodywork around the inlet should improve flow quality over the floor edge.

The new bodywork now sports a reworked cooling exit while the overall volume of the engine cover has been reduced to improve flow quality towards the back of the car. The Maranello-based outfit claimed that the exit topology will see a variation of gills on the side of the engine cover which was clear to see in Imola with the Scuderia having made changes to the size and number of gill via a panel between the practice sessions.

Furthermore, Ferrari have added a new cockpit device on the side of the halo to manage better losses travelling downstream.

In conjunction with the bodywork evolution, a revised floor edge was also introduced as Ferrari altered the rearward slot and trailing edge.
Ferrari have also made tweaks to the diffusor. It now features updated channel profile and outboard expansion with Ferrari having hoped for a load increase with the change.

The rear suspension has also been altered for Imola. The triangle fairing of the rear top wishbone has been reprofiled which should not only result in a small load increase, but also should have a positive interaction with the rear wing.

Ferrari have also updated the front and rear wings. The front wing received a minor update with revised flap and tip loadings, aiming at improving performance and efficiency across the polar range.

The rear wing has also gone through a few key tweaks. The wing tip has been redesigned in order to improve the overall efficiency of the wing with the aerodynamic efficiency having been one of Ferrari’s weaknesses since the introduction of the new generation ground effect cars.

With Formula One car having all started to converge in past months, they all look similar from the outside. Ferrari’s senior performance engineer claims that this is not surprising as “all I would say is that the physics of airflow is the same for all teams if you see what I mean.

“So if you give teams long enough or if you give teams any time if you continually develop cars they will generally evolve to a very similar solution because we’re not working with different physics.

“So it’s probably not a coincidence it’s a fact that you know when we’re developing cars which are nowadays obviously relatively tight in terms of regulation you know there’s a lot less freedom than they used to be so you’re going down a much narrower path than you were 15, 20 years ago. If you’re on a narrow path people are going to arrive at very similar solutions.”

Expanding on the significant updates to the SF-24, Clear stated that Ferrari wanted to provide the drivers with a car that has a more stable and consistent balance: “You say a big upgrade, I think we are sort of organically developing the car, and honestly what you see on the outside aesthetically, obviously you can see the changes, but we know that these changes are happening in the key areas, you know around the floor, around the rear tyres, underneath the rear wing, all of that sort of thing.

“Honestly, as I say it’s an organic upgrade, so we have not changed the direction of the car development, this upgrade is bringing a slight shift in what we call the weighting of the car, so there will be some speeds where it’s delivering more at different speeds, it’s probably delivering less, so it’s tilting the map a little bit as we say, and to come back to what I’ve said, and with our aero development we’re still pursuing that smaller balance window, so we’re getting less balance shift through the corner entry, mid-exit.

“That generally makes a more consistent car, and that is a car that a driver has more confidence in, and can carry speed with confidence, so again, it’s making the car a bit more benign, and we’ve mentioned that a number of times and it’s just a little bit chunkier everywhere on the map.

Clear feels that Ferrari can still extract much more from its SF-24 by tweaking the setup of the car.

“Clearly, there are things that we can do to help the weaknesses of the car and I think that’s more of a setup thing. So this development is carrying on an organic growth. It’s just more chocolatey with a bit more flavour.

“The setup is what we’re probably still working on. We have some developments in that area as well. So I think we’re looking to maybe move the setup around a bit to extract more from the car, and to really target those weaknesses that we’ve identified in the first six races.

“But I think those two development paths carry on in parallel throughout the year. You’re always looking to get more out of the tyre contact patch, but on an aerodynamic side you’re always going to get more out of the tyre contact patch if you just give it more vertical load.

“We thought we brought a more chunky aero package but we’re also always working on the setup. and I think there are things we’ve found in the last couple of races, or there are things we’ve identified in the last couple of races, that I think we can attack here,” Clear said.


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